Product promotions masquerade as survey gift card offers - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Product promotions masquerade as survey gift card offers

Some surveys offer ever user a gift card, then claim to have run out and offer you an 'alternative.' (Source: MGN Online) Some surveys offer ever user a gift card, then claim to have run out and offer you an 'alternative.' (Source: MGN Online)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

You may have received an invitation to participate in a customer satisfaction survey.

It may come via email or text message. The message says all you have to do is answer a few quick questions and you will receive a gift card for your troubles - a $50 gift card at that!

Everything seems normal at first... but after you complete the survey and try to claim your prize.. surprise, surprise.

The $50 gift cards are out of stock, so you are instructed to chose from several products. Most often, it's some type of wrinkle cream or or weight loss kit.

The survey was a really just an elaborate way to promote those products all along.

"If you really think about it, most merchants aren't going to be able to give every survey taker a $50 gift card, maybe something like $10 - but not $50," said Michele Mason with the Better Business Bureau. "So if you see a small amount, still be careful - you may not be getting a survey from who you think you are."

Here's how to spot a customer survey scam:

Don't always believe what you see. It is easy to steal the color, logos and headers of an established organization. Scammers can also make links that look like legitimate sites, and emails that look like they come from a different sender.

Legitimate businesses do not ask for your personal financial information. If they do, make sure there's a link to their privacy policy.

When in doubt, do a quick web search. If the survey is a scam, you may find alerts or complaints from other consumers.

Above anything else, remember - if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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